April 13, 2023
Secrets of A Happy Couple (After 35+ Years!)
Mike and Denise are one of the happiest couples ever. They’ve been together since they were teenagers, raised two kids, run a family business, and they’re still loving, happy and playful. Have a listen to their story and “secrets” in this casual, candid conversation with Jess and Brandon (Mike is Jess’ cousin BTW). There are no magic pills for happy marriages, but every story counts. Warning: gushing contained herein.
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This is a computer-generated rough transcript, so please excuse any typos. This podcast is an informational conversation and is not a substitute for medical, health, or other professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the services of an appropriate professional should you have individual questions or concerns.
Secrets of A Happy Couple (After 35+ Years!)
You’re listening to the Sex with Dr. Jess podcast, sex and relationship advice you can use tonight.
Welcome to the Sex with Dr. Jess podcast. I’m your cohost Brandon Ware here with my lovely other half, Dr. Jess. Hey, hey, I’m excited for this conversation and we are going to dive right in because today we are chatting with and getting insights from one of the most happy couples I have ever met. So we are here with my favorite. I’m not going to say cousins because I’ll get in trouble. Also, they’re not both my cousins. Only Michael is my cousin. My favorite couple.
I think when you say somebody’s your favorite, but then you don’t finish it, I think you’ve just now said they’re your favorite. I know. We have a problem in our family, right, Mike, about favorites? Well, you’re just stating the obvious. There’s a whole bunch of us. So Mike is my eldest cousin, right? Thank you for that. A favorite cousin. Favorite cousin. There’s a lot of us. Denise is his wife, and we spend a ton of time with you. We prioritize spending time with you, even though we spend…
even though we live far, far away from one another, because we love being around you. And Denise has been on the podcast before, so you may remember her from a Christmas episode with her daughter, Annabella, who wrote her dating profile. And if you haven’t listened to the dating profile episodes, please, please, please go back and listen to the dating profile episodes. One of them is called, The Greatest Gift Ever and it’s free, but definitely check those out. So you might remember Denise from there, but I’ll give you a little bit of background on them. They haven’t given me their bios.
but they run a family company with many, many employees and extra special stresses because it’s in Jamaica. But they’re just the happiest couple. They have two grown kids who are also my favorites. And I wanted to chat with them because they’re happy. And I think we all just wanna be happy like they are. Mike, you’re happy. I’m always happy. You bring joy. So why don’t we just start with how you met? Tell us the story of how you met 30.
Six years ago, 30, a lot of years ago. A lifetime ago. I think 1989, right? 85. No, 85. How old was I in 85? Mike was a year younger than me, but we met freshman year at RISD. So we were at school and we met a couple of times, I think, at the dormitory, just around campus. And I remember just shaking my head and thinking, no, this guy’s crazy. That’s most the charm.
But you also weren’t happy at RISD. And I think that’s what I was picking up is that you were not happy there. I think it was just coming from South Florida from high school and coming to a Northeast school. I was again, in a whole different world. Right, which was my happy place, but not your happy place. Again, I would just, I hadn’t learned at that point. Yeah. And then a professor, we were doing two dimensional design and this professor, Jack.
Massey. Massey. Assigned. So the assignments there were usually problems that you had to solve. So it wasn’t like a typical art school kind of thing. It was more like, here is the problem and the context, and you have to work through a problem and come back with solutions. And he assigned the two of us to work on a project together. And when I think about it now, he could not have chosen two more opposite people in terms of how we solve problems to work together.
I think of it now, if we were ever to go online and put profiles on a dating app, there would be no way that we would be put together. And I remember working through the problem with Michael, I don’t even remember what it was, but I remember just thinking, what? He was just…
He’s very big picture, like really creative, very visionary, and I’m like the color in between the lines person. But I remember like when I fully understood the way that he was approaching the problem and the way that he was kind of understanding the parameters of it and figuring out a solution that was to me so much more emotional than I would have thought, you know? And it really connected to the whole class. I was like.
That’s really special, that’s amazing. And it really truly is the opposite of how I think. But I think that was a, before I was just kind of filing, his behavior is crazy. But then I realized that he really has this ability to tap into emotion and understand the importance of it. Thank you for that. I remember that time a little differently. I remember a lot of.
time spent at Spatz on Thayer Street. Yes. Is that a bar or a? A restaurant, actually. I think if there’s anything that’s consistent through our relationship, it really is just sharing a meal. You guys, that’s what we do together. We share a meal. We share a drink. We share the conversation. And it’s sharing. I mean, to me, that’s my idea of a relationship joy. So you solve this problem. You ate some meals. How did you end up connecting?
It was definitely through the meals. I think it was going through, it was a whole series of classes together. And the rhythm of that learning experience is, you know, you’re given a problem, you solve the problem, everybody hangs up their solutions. So there’s like 30 different solutions every week and you present and it was really understanding how he thinks versus how I think and just really appreciating that that was wildly different. But then of course, we both love eating.
And Michael definitely was doting on me and taking me out to spats in all different places. And that’s really, I think, how the relationship evolves. So he bought you with food and now you’re stuck running the family food restaurant company. But I also think, too, the thing about Michael, and this isn’t just through the projects, is that he always, like, would make me laugh, you know? And I think there are heroes kind of in my life in terms of being couples.
And my Aunt Joyce and my Uncle Roger were always that couple. And no matter what was going on in their life, they would like belly laughs, you know, just really enjoying. And Michael sparks that in everybody, but definitely in me. So there’s just, we would eat together. We would laugh together. And it just, it’s a lovely experience being with him.
You listen, we can hear Michael’s laugh from down the road. It’s a signature move. I can find him in Home Depot Target just by listening. Denise and I were on a paddle a few months ago. We were on stand-up paddleboards and we were like far, far, far away. And she’s like, I think Michael is in that house there. I can hear him laughing because it’s a thing. So what did you notice first about Denise? How beautiful she is. And I think what also is that
Denise’s beauty is, it’s an inner beauty as well. Of all the people in the world, Denise is truly, I love to bask in her glow. Oh my God, stop. So I don’t know if other people feel what I’m feeling, but because I know you, I feel a lot. So you met, you were together in college, Mike was 17. So I think there’s a barely legal video in there. You were children. You were, you were. And now you have grown children, like Matt’s around.
25 or so. 26. 26. Yeah. So you met and then Dee, you went to Rome. Yes. For some time. My third year and that was a big thing. And I think because I grew up in New Jersey and I had never traveled, that was when I was accepted to the program. What I liked was that Michael knew that I needed to do that even though it would mean a year apart, but he had all these things that he would do just to make sure that we were always connecting. So.
Every day, I’d go walk into the studio and the secretary Lorraine would say… This is 1988. Eight probably? 87, 88. Yeah. And Lorraine, she was the secretary in Rome, I’d walk in and she’d be like, Denise, there’s a letter for you. Oh. Pretty much every day. And Michael would write letters. He would send Polaroid pictures of whatever he was working on, what his friends were doing. And yeah, he would send…
books of poetry, he would do all these things. And then I would, because if you were to mail a letter in the regular post in Italy, it would not likely get there. So I would walk to the Vatican probably about three times a week and post letters through the Swiss mail because that would, because this was before cell phones and before internet. You didn’t even have a phone at your dorm. No. Because you were in some sort of a, you know, a bunk bed. Yes, my parents would call and they would just say, no.
I remember that. I’d have to wake up at six in the morning to call you, or is it at night, but like an odd hour and you’d get pronto and I’d say, Denise Dubuque is like, no capito. And nothing has changed. So you couldn’t call, but you wrote these letters every single day for a year and you still have them. Yes. They’re like- We keep a treasure chest of, yeah, we’ve kept that.
Do you ever go through them? I did a while ago and I think Annabella found them recently. She was just like, oh, you guys, ew. That’s their daughter who’s also an adult, but still. Now, OK, so you met in college, you stayed connected, you’re super sweet. Mike, Mike’s just a real acts of service person, right? Like yesterday, my cell phone was running out of battery. I didn’t even know I had set it. And I’m sitting over on your couch and all of a sudden he’s gone and got.
a charger for me and has plugged in my phone. The other day we were doing a podcast and we had a Zoom guest and he could hear that our connection was cutting out. So he called upstairs to his brother who also lives in the same building and borrowed a hundred foot ethernet cord, got me the adapter and plugged me in for the next one. And that I’m just his cousin. I’m only his favorite cousin. You’re his wife who he adores. So.
Why are you still so happy today? Because listen, I work with so many couples and I don’t think it’s 1% of people who maintain this connection over the long run and really, really, really like each other. So what’s the secret sauce for you? You know, I think when we were, we went through pre-Kena. What’s that? So that is really in the Catholic religion, it’s kind of like a.
for preparation for marriage. Oh man, like how did you navigate that class? How did Mike not get picked up? How were you married? We almost failed. Yeah, no, I was sure we were gonna fail. Michael does not do well in organized, controlled situations and so they were asking rhetorical questions, the priest was and I was like, oh my God, Mike’s gonna give an answer. What happens when a woman is slow to be aroused? And I would say.
What did you say? I was cringing the whole time. He would shout out, honey. I’m gonna start ahead, you know. How do you get started? Jump in when you’re ready. And now today, after having a sexologist cousin, what would you say? Use more lube. Oh my gosh. So you went through the premarital, not only Catholic teachings, but also in Jamaica.
It was in Jamaica and with a priest who worked in this inner city area at St. Patrick’s. So it was a very interesting pre-Kena. But the advice that he gave us, which he was also from New Jersey, I think he was from Hoboken. Oh. But the advice that he gave me one-on-one was he was like, you know, Denise, I counsel so many.
married couples who are going through some really tough stuff. And what I see happen a lot, and he said specifically with American couples, which is why he was telling me, is that, you know, we get so, we get married, we obsess over the wedding and, you know, all the things that we need, the dress, and it’s all me, me, me, and then with children, you tend to obsess over the children, but then lose track of each other.
And he was saying that where he noticed that couples did really well is they prioritize themselves first, their relationship first. And he said, I know that that sounds strange, but it creates this solid foundation of just a happy feeling for the kids. And the kids then, you know, get love from that and it feels secure and it feels stable. And then they also learn what relationships are just by seeing you model what, you know, putting each other first.
So it sounds so simple, but the reality is when life gets busy and you’re in the schedule of taking care of kids, it’s so easy to get lost and go down that rabbit hole. So what does that look like? Well, I would, I would also add that I look at any relationship, especially ours and our families, is that you take nothing for granted. You have to put a lot of energy, thought, care, creativity to that because nothing happens easily.
and care you put towards your wife, your partner, and your children. It grows. It’s there. And it changes. And I think there’s definitely challenges. I know we’ve certainly had bumps, but it happens during times when there’s change. And then you have to recalibrate together. Like, okay, we have to round this new corner. We’ve never been here before. We’re going to have to change. But as a family, we…
As the children have grown up and they’ve done some incredibly difficult things. They swam competitively for Jamaica. They have been pushed academically. We were a little bit of tiger parents. And I think it’s just also to frame those challenges in a really positive and supportive way.
For instance, the kids used to swim a 5K open water after a three-day meet. And I would say, we’re going to have a little adventure at the end. You’re going to swim from sharks. Right. And I would say that it’s being able to approach those challenges. And some of the challenges that we’re going through now, even in a business, is it’s hard. I mean, it’s very difficult. And at the same time, if we approach it with love, caring, purpose,
becomes meaningful. And I think when you have the, when you can start to stretch yourselves in those ways, it strengthens the relationships that you have with your partners and your family, but also those around you. Denise said a really funny thing when we moved to Jamaica and we were about to become ultra full-time with the family business. She said, we’re gonna mommy and daddy the shit out of this. Just like you did with your kids. Yes, I smile when I say that. I smile when I hear you say that because it,
really was, I think it really defined, it changed us so much, I think as people and understanding love. I think when I say that it’s not from a point of control, it’s just understanding that you and I are able to, or I trust that we can work through difficult decisions together. In a loving, caring way. So it’s just kind of applying that decision making to business in a way that once you are, you know that you’re doing the right thing.
for people or for process or whatever it is, then you just have that trust that you can get through it, even if it’s really hard. Yeah, and you’ve had, you talk about transition, so you moved down to, back down to Jamaica, well back for you, first time for you after college. Yeah, in 91 I think it was. Then you came back up to the States at one point, then you moved back down to run the family business, and you have a different approach to, I want to talk to you about how you work together, because you are polar opposites.
The way I think you share the same values, but the way people perceive you would be very, very different. Probably the way you interact with people might be different, but it’s coming from that same space. So first and foremost, do you think opposites attract? Do you think it’s, it’s a good thing that you’re opposites? Do you just think it’s one of many variations that might work out? I think it’s probably one of many, many variations. Like I watch my daughter, Anna and her boyfriend, Quinn, and I see that they are similar.
many ways and there’s a few areas where they’re opposite but they I think at the center of it is they trust each other. And you need that in a business and that’s something you’re cultivating in the business. I think what stands out about the work you do so they run a restaurant chain in Jamaica and you have hundreds of employees and you’re focused on what it might mean for Jamaica as opposed to just the profits and I wonder if it’s like is it those shared values that keeps you together or that…
I don’t know, how do you work together is the question. As Brandon and I transitioned into working together, like what makes it work to work together? You know, I kind of wonder if it’s how we started in that, you know, we were working through projects together in a way, right? And so I do have an appreciation for what I can do and I have an appreciation for what Michael does. I think we heard maybe about five years ago from somebody at Disney Creative.
or Disney, I forget the name of the title, but that person said, everybody has their own superpower. And if you go into any type of team with that mindset, respect, figure out what the value that person brings, it becomes interesting. Yeah. So typically when we’re trying to work on something, Michael will blurt out something and I’ll be like, what is he?
And then I have to wait for the next sentence. And then usually my job is really fully understanding his big idea or his vision, and then figuring out how I kind of weave that into the operations. How can it fit? Will that really help us seize an opportunity that we might not have had or reduce risk somewhere? But I think it’s understanding that I could never do what he does. And likewise as well. Like that’s not. And respecting that and really.
just valuing that other person, the other person’s skill in working together for a certain outcome and just, just being patient. You’re both very patient. Well, Denise, especially, but you’re very patient as well. Like, we don’t talk about patience much. I think I’ve come to that space because of Denise over the course of both the personal relationship and the professional relationship. And you have to work at it harder because both Michael and I are ADHD. And so…
You have to work harder at like letting the impulsivity go, right? Of course. And taking a breath and taking a beat. And then also Michael and I come from a family background that is far more explosive. Yes. Where we have to learn to not necessarily follow in the footsteps of everybody that came before us. There’s amazing things about them, but the expose, the explosions were, I think, hard to contend with growing up. I, I, I agree with you completely. And I think what like the different or what I see you and I modeling a lot more is the ability to listen.
And the self-awareness as well is like, okay, you know, this is important. If we want to get to the outcomes we’re looking for, I have to change. I need to, like even with Denise and what she’s explaining, my superpower is one of the things I’m working on is I need to communicate better. I know that everybody is not going to have that space or vision or concept that is in my head. So I have to really break it down. And when I do that and communicate it.
better to those around me. I love it when they see, they get the aha moment. It’s like, oh, I get what you’re seeing. And it’s not necessarily what they’re seeing on paper. It’s the emotional outcomes. Oh, I get it. They smile. And I think, like, I am a list checker. And I like to get to the finish line. I like to get things done. That’s my thing. And often, Michael will throw something into the works that disrupts that. And I will get so, like, irritated
But what I’ve learned over time is that if I pause and really spend some time with him to get to the root of like, what is he really saying? Because I’m not fully understanding this. Typically, we do have to stop what we’re doing because if we continue, we’re not really accomplishing something that suits the bigger purpose.
You know, we’re just, we’re being very transactional and not very strategic. Or task-oriented. Or task-oriented. And so over time, I’ve learned just in working together that when we reach that point, and I can feel him, sometimes I realize that he might not be articulating something in a way that I can understand it, but I’ve learned over time that, okay, this is the moment where I have to stop what I’m doing. And even though I’m really frustrated right now.
I need to fully understand what he’s saying because likely I do need to pause and I do need to rethink and you know. There’s so much mutual respect for the different not only perspectives but skill sets and we see that in business that the people who are most successful, the people who are incredible leaders understand that people who have
different skill sets than their own, different modes of communication, different ways of thinking, different ways of basically tackling problems. If you can appreciate someone else’s perspective, you can get so much more done. And I’ve fallen into this before with staff, where if they didn’t do certain things the way I do them, I would sometimes discount or underestimate their capacity for other things that they can do way better than me. So I love that framing of superpowers. And I think about, if I had to ask you, what’s your superpower in the relationship?
What would that be? Or do you wanna name each others? Like what’s Mike’s superpower, Dee? Mike’s superpower is like happiness and joy. Like just always working at that. Cause really what else is there in life? He cultivates that. He cultivates the time, the spaces. Well, what is it that Mike says every single morning? Hey Mike, how you doing today? Perfect. And I expect that answer. If I don’t hear that answer, I’m always like, oh my gosh, Mike, are you okay, man? What can I do, man? Are you all right?
Thank you for that. And not to pressure you to feel that way all the time, but I think it’s your perspective. I think it’s your attitude. I think it’s your outlook. It’s like, if I can’t try to find the happiness and the joy and appreciate this moment, even when it’s difficult, I have to, like, what am I doing? How am I moving forward? Right, and I mean, that definitely comes from a place of privilege, like you’re not on the street, but also you’re dealing with real issues. I won’t get into the nitty gritty, but there is no restaurant chain in America.
that has to deal with the things that are happening. Shootouts on the street. Right. Machine gun fire. The trauma people, our employees deal with day to day. Dead cows, people not being able to get to work because a member of their family, I won’t use the language, but like have been hurt very, very badly or passed away in violence. Like the stuff that you’re dealing with is very different and heavy. So.
It’s not like, you know, Mike is just all happy, sunshine, rainbows, ignoring that stuff. But he’s choosing in that moment in the morning where we’re, the four of us are sitting here. We don’t live together, but we’re crashing here right now for a few days. Having our coffees, you’re just kind of focusing on your own joy. So if his superpower is joy and creating happiness, which he does not just for you, but for your kids and for us as well. What is Dee’s superpower? I think, um, Dee’s every.
There are too many superpowers, Mike. I know we’re putting you on the spot. We’ll cut to so you can take your time. Again, finding the words. It really is just a calm, loving, caring presence that Denise has. Like everyone says, Denise is so calm. And not only is she calm, like she’s fully engaged in you emotionally when she talks to you. And it’s patient, it’s listening, and it’s a kind of warmth. It isn’t anything we come, again, Jessica, we come from a family of
a lot of drama. They’ve got families very loud and very animated. Denise is so placid, but it’s like a warm blanket. And still strong. Like, Denise isn’t afraid to say what she thinks. I think that if people met you and me, they’d be like, oh, Jess will tell you what she wants. And it’s actually not true at all. You have the assertion skills to do that. I’ve learned over time. Yeah. I think it took a little while.
And we don’t even, I’ve never really seen you like raise your voice and again, like, listen, we’re all imperfect. I raised my voice, sort of thing. You do? Really, where, when? Oh, yeah, no, I’ve learned that. And especially recently, I think coming out of the pandemic, there’ve been so many extra pressures, you know, on our team, on society. And I do find myself getting triggered, yeah. But I would say it’s, you have changed in terms of.
how you express yourself. But the calmness and the caring is still there. I would say what I’ve noticed is that you’re able to articulate how you actually feel in those moments. And it’s like, look, for instance, she says, you’re making me frustrated, or I’m not in agreement with what you’re saying. But she says it in the same manner. Yeah, I think being able to say I’m not in agreement makes it not so scary. Like it’s just right. It’s not that you’re wrong. Yeah.
I’m coming from a different place. Yeah. And you know, when, so I’m an observer in your relationship and I see, I hear all the superpowers and I also just think that you both are always moving from a place of love and not ego. Like that’s the big thing. I always say D to be in like the COO role that you’re in and have, I just feel like you have no ego. I feel like I’ve never met a person in my life who has less ego and I’m gonna cry saying it. So I’ll turn away and say, so Brandon,
Okay, I’m gonna make you go first. What’s my superpower? I think this is a great exercise to close on. And I think it’s great for people to be able to frame their admiration and gratitude for people in different ways. Like I’ve done the dating profile exercise. I’ll have people make lists, but I think that sometimes a different framework works for different people. And I think the capacity to tell somebody what you admire in them via framing it as a superpower can be really valuable, whether it’s to your kids, whether it’s to your parents, whether it’s to employees, whether it’s to an intimate partner. So tell me my superpower, baby.
So many superpowers years ago. I posted that I feel as though you are in a dangerously smart Which is a great thing to be but when you couple that with your desire to help people with your desire For you know to affect change and justice and these things. I’m like you move forward always trying to propel others
to equal or greater heights than you. I feel like you’re always pushing others to make the world better. I mean, that’s just.
the first thing that kind of crossed my mind. I mean, we can talk about all these other elements, like how you normalize things, how you make people feel comfortable about things that they otherwise don’t. I wanna say do go on, but I have to stop. Please do, yeah. I mean, you’re funny, you’re beautiful. You’re all these things, but you’re always. I didn’t mean you had to gush over me. No, but I mean, there are just a lot of things that come to mind when I think about what your superpower is. I mean, yeah, you’re funny, you’re beautiful, you’re all these things, but you’re always.
pushing to put other people in the spotlight that are deserving of it. Like you? No, not like me, like people who are more deserving of being in the spotlight. And I think that’s a wonderful thing to be around. It’s certainly changed my mindset. And also your willingness to hear other people’s perspective. I could work on that. No, but you really do. I think that you’re willing to absorb. So, you know, yeah, I’m gushing and I’m saying all these things, but I really do feel…
that there are so many things that make you incredible. I mean, I’m listening to Mike and D talk. And you can attest to like just how happy they are. Yeah, I mean, your relationship is wonderful. Like you said, you’ve hit bumps in the road. I think that happens to everyone. I think you definitely both compliment each other in terms of the strengths that you bring to the relationship. Like Mike, yeah, you really do seek out happiness and you…
create happiness and you create situations that bring people together to celebrate. And that’s not something that I think I think about. I don’t think about creating these environments where I’m like, I want to celebrate with everyone. I want to have a good time, whatever that is. And D, like you’re patient and I have never seen you upset. I’m sure you have been upset, but your ability, like you just said, you’re like, I know Michael is saying something right now. I don’t understand it.
this is when I need to pause. Like your ability to reflect and be like, something is here, I know Mike has something, I need to check myself and stop and listen. I think that the ability to look internally and see the opportunity I think is wonderful. And yeah, you’re just a beautiful human being as well. That’s a lot. I mean, I could go on, but we’re also fun to hang around, right? But I will say, Brendan, I think,
your superpower is this ability to grow, just this ability to like stop and say, okay, this is what I wanna try that’s uncomfortable for me. And I also think you’re among the best listeners I’ve ever met. I think you’d be an amazing therapist for that reason. I think you’re an amazing partner. I think also like when we think about Dee and Brandon balancing out Mike and I who have similar personalities, I think maybe it’s not about opposites, but about balance, that we bring balance into the relationship in different ways.
at different times. And so my takeaway from my own observations of you is the patience. It’s that you always move from a place of love. And then people might be annoyed by this gushing. Okay, like I get it. And if you’re triggered by it. Whatever. If you’re triggered by it, I think it’s an important piece to kind of stop on and say, why does this make me uncomfortable? Like did my parents not do this for me? Am I not comfortable doing this for people? Does no one do this for me? But I think what I’m gonna take away from this and what I’m gonna suggest to folks, cause I like to have some sort of action item, is that you find.
someone that you can share your thoughts on their superpower with, whether it be an intimate partner, a family member, other loved one, because just try it. Say like, I think your superpowers, I think it’s actually a great exercise for the workplace to go ahead and list people’s superpowers because whether like I’ll take your industry, for example, whether they’re in on your executive team doing strategy, or whether they’re, you know, a trainee who’s working in the kitchens, like everybody has this superpower, I’ve gone to your restaurants and there’s somebody who makes you feel really special. Right.
And I think during crisis, the superpowers pop out even more, right? Especially with our executive team, you just see people jump into action. And it’s amazing. It’s what got us through. The other thing I noticed right from the, from the onset, I just want to comment on is this element that comes up where people seem to be happy is encouraging their partner to live their best life. Like the, like the idea that you, when Dee went away, you, I mean, yes, you might’ve been disappointed about that, but it sounds to me like you were also.
excited for this opportunity for her to be overseas. Maybe I’m wrong. He must have been so sad though. I was very sad. Yeah, of course you were sad. I was very lonely. I remember saying to him, I need to do this. And I remember him fully acknowledging that. Like, I think you need to go. At 20 years old. Yeah. But that’s the sort of thing that I’m saying. Isn’t that amazing that even though, yes, it was gonna hurt and it hurt for her to be away, but you were also like, I agree, you should go. I feel the same way about Jess.
Jess is on the road all the time. I don’t wanna stifle her growth. I don’t wanna stop her from living whatever it is is the best version of her life. I’m like, yes, go. I miss you. I love you. I wanna be with you, but I know you love this. I want my partner to have what it is, I mean, when I can give it to them and I can communicate that with them, what makes them happy? So I would add something, like if you wanna on that theme, as a couple, we’ve been together for over 30 years. So there is entity.
called Denise and Michael. There’s a decent Denise and Mike. We’re always together. We’re together 24 hours a day. We work together. We are always together. And at the same time, we’re individuals. It isn’t like I have taken over her personality or her personality has taken over my personality. Yes, there is an influence. And at the same time, we are distinct individuals, just like yourselves. I mean.
You guys are a couple. And I wanna speak to you as a couple, your superpowers, because we were talking even last night about, I know you don’t have kids, and at the same time, my children look at you guys as role models. Like how you, and I would say role models in terms of a relationship. How you treat people. How you treat your partners. How you treat other people. I mean, the level of communication and.
care. Graciousness. I would say you’re super powered to me both of you the way that you are. It’s graciousness. So much. I really thought we were going to go to my karaoke skills. I mean, I will take that as well. Yeah, you have some sick skills there. Well, I know that we have we have to rap and I want to say that.
Obviously our stories or our perspectives or our experiences are just that and they work for us and they may be the formula that can be replicated by some, but by others they might not be ideal because individuals are so highly varied and of course couples put two individuals together it’s even more varied.
Both of you have talked, Mike, you’ve really talked about launching your kids and your kids are launched now. They’re off kind of doing their own things. One of them is in a very, I think, admirable relationship. A great skill in our family is attracting great partners. Like that is our greatest skill, right, Michael? Definitely. My mom, us, Anna. What is it that you really wanted to pass on to your kids about relationships? If there was just one thing you can sum up to close us out. I’m not sure. I think, you know, just thinking about it, because even the words you said there that…
Everybody has to find their own joy. It is, again, we are four people, we share a lot of time together, but our perspectives are radically different. We have different lives, different backgrounds, but we do come together a lot and share joy and happiness. And I think as an individual, if you can, even in a relationship with two people, the joys are the same,
individually they’re different and I think it’s to have those skills to figure that out and to be happy with that and not look at oh you know so and so is doing this I need to do that I need a new car that gives me but having that internal or that self-awareness it’s like you know what this makes me happy I and I don’t know why I might explore it I might figure it out I mean I think Matthew’s a
That’s his eldest son. Yeah. He, he, he lives a life that is to me fascinating. He has thoughts of changing the world, changing climate night, working on climate change, figuring out what on a huge scale, what value am I going to bring to people in my life? But again, I don’t know if I answered your question. I think you did. I think it’s that we have to find our own joy and whether it’s like when it’s in partnered relationships or friendships and that
not looking at outside sources. I think that’s another thing I admire about you both is that you’re not looking and comparing yourself, right? And I think that’s part of not having a big ego is that you’re not thinking about, okay, well, that person has this, therefore I must have to have that. You’re actually focused on yourself, which might sound negative to some people. Or self-centered. Self-centered. Yeah, but I mean, I think being self-centered can be a good thing for, you’re not, listen, you’re not disregarding other people’s feelings, but I think there’s some value there and just something to kind of…
sit on. So what I’ll I’ll wrap here and say thank you so much for chatting with us. I love you guys. We love you too. We love you too. We sit like we sit and chat all the time, but not on the mics. But I’ll just suggest to people that you go find someone now and share what you think their superpower is. I think that’s the takeaway. Before we go, a quick reminder that the
Courses at happiercouples.com are on sale with code podcast exclusive for podcast listeners. So check those out, mindful sex, mind blowing oral and last longer in bed, happiercouples.com. Thanks so much folks.
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